Parents to fight son's removal from life support

An Alberta couple is seeking a court order to prevent an Edmonton hospital from taking their infant son off life-support.

An Alberta couple is seeking a court order to prevent an Edmonton hospital from taking their infant son off life-support.

Isaiah May was born in Rocky Mountain House, Alta., in October.

Parents Rebecka and Isaac May want a judge to force Edmonton's Stollery Children's Hospital to keep him on a ventilator.

The hospital plans to remove the ventilator on Wednesday.

In a court affidavit, Rebecka May said her son was born after a difficult, 40-hour labour. At birth the umbilical cord wrapped around the baby's neck, depriving him of oxygen. Isaiah was transferred to the children's hospital where he has been in the neo-natal intensive care unit.

In a letter dated Jan. 13 the clinical director for the unit Dr. Ernest Phillipos said Isaiah suffered irreversible brain damage and there is no hope of recovery. He said the treating physicians believe removing the ventilator is medically reasonable, ethically responsible and appropriate.

But Isaiah's parents disagree, saying in their affidavit the boy has proven his doctors wrong by surviving beyond a few days, continuing to grow and being able to move his limbs.

The Mays said in the court documents that Isaiah is a living child with normal heart function and normal blood pressure and that the hospital's decision is contrary to their religious views. They said they don't believe all reasonable options have been explored or that all the necessary tests have been done.

The Mays have been told mechanical ventilation support for the boy will be removed on Wednesday afternoon.

While none of the statements in the affidavit have been proven in court, the couple plans to ask a judge to issue an injunction barring the removal of any life support equipment.